The church is supposed to protect children, but there have been many incidents in recent years—particularly in the Catholic religion—of priests and other clergy members abusing children. These incidents were covered up in the past to preserve the church’s reputation. In fact, the archdiocese policy used to prohibit releasing the names of priests and brothers who were accused of abusing children and have since passed away.
That has changed. The Catholic archdiocese in Baltimore recently published the name of 23 dead priests who were accused of child sex abuse. The goal is to help the victims heal from the abuse they suffered from those in charge of the church— people they were supposed to trust.
In all, 126 members of the Catholic archdiocese have been accused and named. Some incidents go back as far as 80 years. Clergy abuse became a national crisis for the Catholic church a couple of decades ago. Therefore, the Catholic archdiocese in Baltimore started releasing the names of those accused 16 years ago. While this has helped in some ways, a Pennsylvania court claims that more needs to be done.
A 900-page report was released last August. In this report, a Pennsylvania grand jury makes multiple allegations. One is that more than 300 Roman Catholic priests in six dioceses had abused at least 1,000 children over the course of 70 years. Church officials covered up the complaints.
The greater transparency means that things have changed. Clergy members will no longer be shielded from liability. The archdiocese will add the names of church officials accused after their deaths if any of the following apply:
A list was released in April 2019, but it is far from exhaustive. The archdiocese made it clear that numerous clergy members who have been accused of child sex abuse were not on the list. The Catholic archdiocese in Baltimore is working hard to cooperate with the attorney general’s investigation. The church has already delivered more than 50,000 internal files to law enforcement officials in Maryland. This shows the extent of the crisis that has been rocking the Catholic church for many years.
Sexual abuse of a minor is a serious crime that may involve a sexual act, incest, sodomy, rape and other acts that are sexual in nature. Nobody has the right to sexually abuse a child. It is a felony crime that can result in decades in prison. If you have been accused, it is crucial that you seek legal help.
You need serious legal defense for such a serious crime. Seek aggressive representation from the Columbia child sex abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We have two offices in Maryland to serve you. Get a free consultation today by calling (410) 774-5987 or filling out the online form.
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